Marlene N. Silva


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Marlene N. Silva

Research Associate
Marlene Nunes Silva is a Research Associate at the University of Lisbon, Faculty of Human Kinetics, and a guest Professor at the Faculty of Physical Education and Sport- Lusophone University, Lisbon. She is a clinical psychologist, post-graduated in health promotion, who received her Ph.D. in Exercise and Health in 2010, in this year she also received a Young Investigator award in Sport Sciences. Her research revolves around the field of motivational, self-regulatory and behavioral predictors of physical activity and weight control, applying self-determination theory to health behavior change interventions (in overweight adults). Motivation and training of health professionals, seeking to understand antecedents of need-supportive vs. controlling motivational practices are additional areas of interest. She has published 30 international peer-reviewed articles (h-index 14), and was a co-author of 3 international books Chapters and 1 national book. She is currently the national coordinator of EuroFIT, an European Commission funded project (FP7), designed to harness the personal connection, loyalty and attachment men feel to football and their club, to engage them in health-promoting lifestyle change programs (implemented in 15 elite European Clubs). She is also an Adjunct Director of the National Program for the Promotion of Physical Activity (Portuguese Directorate-General of Health). In the past she participated in several FCT-funded projects, namely: the PESO Study and the Portuguese National Weight Control Registry (helping in implementation and assessments); the Open-Access Repository of Self-Regulation Measures for Exercise, Eating, and Weight Control (Scientific Member).
· 2014- Invited Research Associate, Faculty of Human Kinetics, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal
· 2010-2013 Pos-Doctoral Research Fellow, Faculty of Human Kinetics, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal. University of Rochester, University of Rochester Medical Center
· 2010-Today Assistant Professor, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, Lusofóna University, Lisbon, Portugal
· 2010-Today Invited Assistant Professor, Faculty of Sports Sciences and Physical Education, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal
· 2006-2010 Research Fellow, Faculty of Human Kinetics of Lisbon, Portugal
· Faculty of Human Kinetics, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal – Ph.D. (2010) – Sports Sciences (Exercise and Health). Dissertation Advisor: Pedro J Teixeira, Ph.D. Title: “Predictors of Exercise Adherence and Weight Control: An Application of Self-Determination Theory”
· ISPA University Institute of Applied Psychology, Lisbon, Portugal – 5-years degree (Equivalent. Masters of Science) – Clinical Psychology. Thesis Advisor: Eurico Figueiredo & Arménio Sequeira, Ph.D. Title: “Quality of Life in the rural elderly”
As Scientific Member

EUROFIT: Social Innovation to Improve Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Through Elite European Football Clubs: European Fans in Training

European Commission FP7-HEALTH.2013.3.3-1-GA602170; 5.957.168€

Principal Investigator: Sally Wyke, Ph.D.

An Open-Access Repository of Self-Regulation Measures for Exercise, Eating, and Weight Control

FCT /  Portuguese Government, Science and Technology Foundation PTDC/DES/122395/2010; 98.684€.

Principal Investigator: Pedro J. Teixeira, Ph.D.

The PoEMA* Study: Antecedents, Mediators and Outcomes of Autonomy-Support in Fitness Clubs

*(Promotion of Exercise Motivation and Autonomy)

Principal Investigators: Marlene N. Silva, Ph.D. & António Palmeira, Ph.D.

Participation in the data collection and implementation
Physical Activity and the Self-regulation of Eating Behavior and Body Weight

FCT /  Portuguese Government, Science and Technology Foundation PTDC/DES/114867/2009; 103.000€.

Principal Investigator: Pedro J. Teixeira, Ph.D.

The Portuguese National Weight Control Registry: The Role of Physical Activity in Weight Loss and Weight Loss Maintenance

FCT / Portuguese Government, Science and Technology Foundation PTDC/DES/72317/2006, 2008-2011; 119.400€.

Principal Investigator: Pedro J. Teixeira, Ph.D.

Moderators and Mediators of Physical Activity, Body Weight, and Body Composition Change During Obesity Treatment in Women

Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia POCI-PPCDT/DES/57705/2004, 2005-2009; 43.890€.

Principal Investigator: Pedro J. Teixeira, Ph.D.

Nutrição e Actividade Física na Prevenção e Tratamento da Obesidade (Nutrition and Physical Activity in the Prevention and Treatment of Obesity)

Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, 2004; 29.000€

Co-Principal Investigators: Luís B. Sardinha, Ph.D. and Pedro J. Teixeira, Ph.D.




1. Teixeira P.J., Silva M.N. (2009). Repensar o PESO: Princípios e métodos testados para controlar o seu peso (Rethinking weight: Tested principles and methods for weight control). Lisboa: Lidel – Edições Técnicas.

Book Chapters

1. Marques M.M., Silva M.N., Palmeira A.L., Teixeira P.J. (In Press). What is theory and evidence-based health behavior change? Cruz Quebrada: Edições FMH.

2. Palmeira A.L., Silva M.N., Motivação para o treino de força e bem-estar psicológico. In Pezarat, P.,Mil-Homens, P. & Vilhena G (Eds.). Treino de Força: Fundamentos e Aplicações. Cruz Quebrada: Edições FMH.

3. Silva M.N., Teixeira P.J. (2013). Promotion of and adherence to physical activity. In Mooren, F.C., Skinner, J.S. (Eds.). Encyclopedia of Exercise Medicine in Health and Disease (pp.727-731). Berlin Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag.

4. Carraça E.V., Silva M.N., Teixeira P.J.(2013). Body image investment and self-regulation of weight control behaviors. In Sams, L.B., Keels, J.A. (Eds). Handbook on Body Image: Gender Differences, Sociocultural Influences and Health Implications (pp.257-276). New York: Science Publishers, Inc.

International Peer-Reviewed Articles

1. Silva MN, Sánchez-Oliva D, Brunet J, Williams GC, Teixeira PJ, Palmeira AL. “What goes around comes around”: Antecedents, mediators, and consequences of controlling vs. need-supportive motivational strategies used by exercise professionals. Annals of Behavioral Medicine (in press) DOI:

2. Sánchez-Oliva D., Morin A., Teixeira P.J., Carraça E.V., Palmeira A., Silva M.N. A Bifactor Exploratory Structural Equation Modeling Representation of the Structure of Need Satisfaction at Work. Journal of Vocational Behavior (in press).

3. Martinez K., Resnicow K., Williams G.C., Silva M.N., Abrahamse P., Shumway D., Wallner L., Katz S., Hawley S. (In Press). Does physician communication style impact patient report of decision quality for breast cancer treatment? Patient Education and Counseling.

4. van Nassau F., van der Ploeg H., Abrahamsen F., Andersen E., Anderson A.S., Bosmans J.E., Bunn C., Chalmers M., Clissmann C., Gill J.M.R., Gray C.M., Hunt K., Jelsma J.G., La Guardia J.G., Lemyre P.N., Loudon D.W., Macaulay L., Maxwell D.J., McConnachie A., Martin A., Mourselas N., Mutrie N., Nijhuis-van der Sanden R., O'Brien K., Pereira H.V., Philpott M., Roberts G.C., Rooksby J., Rost M., Roynesdal O., Sattar N., Silva M.N., Sorensen M., Teixeira P.J., Treweek S., van Achterberg T., van de Glind I., van Mechelen W., Wyke S. (2016). Study protocol of European Fans in Training (EuroFIT): A four-country randomised controlled trial of a lifestyle program for men delivered in elite football clubs. BMC Public Health, 16:598. DOI 10.1186/s12889-016-3255-y.

5. Mullen S.P., Silva M.N., Teixeira P.J. (2016). Initial validation of the Activity Choice Index among overweight women. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport. DOI 10.1080/02701367.2016.1152349.

6. Santos I., Mata J., Silva M.N., Sardinha L.B.,Teixeira P.J. (2015). Predicting long-term weight loss maintenance in previously overweight women: a signal detection approach. Obesity, 23(5):957-964. 

7. Wasserkampf A., Silva M.N., Santos I., Carraça E.V., Meis J.J.M., Kremers S.P.J., Teixeira P.J. (2014). Short-and long-term theory-based predictors of physical activity in women who participated in a weight-management program. Health Education Research. DOI 10.1093/her/cyu060.

8. Vieira P.N., Teixeira P.J., Sardinha L.B., Santos T.C., Coutinho S.R.,  Mata J., Silva M.N. (2014). Success in maintaining weight loss in Portugal - The Portuguese Weight Control Registry [in Portuguese]. Ciência & Saúde Coletiva, 19(1):83-92.

9. Carraça E.V., Silva M.N., Coutinho S.R., Vieira P.N., Minderico C.M., Sardinha L.B., Teixeira P.J. (2013). The association between physical activity and eating self-regulation in overweight and obese women. Obesity Facts, 6:493-506.

10. Vieira P.N., Silva M.N., Mata J., Coutinho S.R., Santos T.C., Sardinha L.B., Teixeira P.J. (2013). Correlates of health-related quality of life, psychological well-being, and eating self-regulation after successful weight loss maintenance. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 36(6).

11. Carraça E.V., Markland D., Silva M.N., Coutinho S.R., Vieira P.N., Minderico C.S., Sardinha L.B., Teixeira P.J. (2012). Physical activity predicts changes in body image during obesity treatment in women. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 44:1604-1612.

12. Teixeira P.J., Silva M.N., Mata J., Palmeira A.L., Markland D. (2012). Motivation, selfdetermination, and long-term weight control. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 9:22.

13. Teixeira P.J., Carraça E.V., Markland D.M., Silva M.N., Ryan R.M. (2012). Exercise, physical activity, and self-determination theory: A systematic review. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 9:78.

14. Vieira P.N., Palmeira A.L., Mata J., Kolotkin R.L., Silva M.N., Sardinha L.B., Teixeira P.J. (2012). Usefulness of standard BMI cut-offs for quality of life and psychological wellbeing in women. Obesity Facts, 5:795-805.

15. Silva M.N., Markland D., Carraça, E.V., Vieira P.N., Coutinho S.R., Minderico, C.S., Matos, M.G., Sardinha L.B., Teixeira P.J. (2011). Exercise autonomous motivation predicts 3-year weight loss in women. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 4:728-737.

16. Carraça E.V., Silva M.N., Markland D., Vieira P.N., Minderico C.S., Sardinha L.B. Teixeira P.J. (2011). Body image change and improved eating self-regulation in a weight management intervention in women. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 8:75.

17. Carraça E.V., Markland D., Silva M.N., Coutinho S.R., Vieira P.N., Minderico C.S., Sardinha L.B., Teixeira P.J. (2010). Dysfunctional body investment versus body dissatisfaction: relations with well-being and controlled motivations for obesity treatment. Motivation and Emotion, 35:423.

18. Palmeira A.L., Branco T.L., Martins S.C., Minderico C.S., Silva M.N., Vieira P.N., Barata J.T., Serpa S.O., Sardinha L.B., Teixeira P.J. (2010). Change in body image and psychological well-being during behavioral obesity treatment: Associations with weight loss and maintenance. Body Image,7(3):187-93.

19. Silva M.N., Markland D., Vieira P.N., Coutinho S.R., Carraça E.V., Palmeira A.L., Minderico C.S., Matos M.G, Sardinha L.B., Teixeira P.J. (2010). Helping overweight women become more active: Need support and motivational regulations for different forms of physical activity. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 11:591-601.

20. Silva M.N., Vieira P.N., Coutinho S.R., Matos M.G., Sardinha L.B., & Teixeira P.J. (2010). Using self-determination theory to promote physical activity and weight control: A randomized controlled trial in women. Journal of Behavioural Medicine, 33 (2):110-122.

21. Teixeira P.J., Silva M.N., Coutinho S.R., Palmeira, A.L., Mata J., Vieira P.N., Carraça E.V., Santos T.C., Sardinha L.B. (2010). Mediators of weight loss and weight loss maintenance in middle-aged women. Obesity, 18:725-735.

22. Andrade A.M., Coutinho S.R., Silva M.N., Mata J., Vieira P.N., Minderico, C.S., Melanson K.J., Baptista F., Sardinha L.B., Teixeira P.J. (2010). The effect of physical activity on weight loss is mediated by eating self-regulation. Patient Education and Counseling, 79:320-326.

23. Vieira P.N., Mata J., Silva M.N., Coutinho S.R., Santos T.C., Minderico C.S., Sardinha L.B., Teixeira P.J. (2010). Predictors of psychological well-being during behavioral obesity treatment in women. Journal of Obesity, 2011, Article ID 936153, 8 pages, DOI:10.1155/2011/936153.

24. Mata J., Silva M.N., Vieira P.N., Carraça E.V., Andrade A.M., Coutinho S.R., Sardinha L.B., Teixeira P.J. (2009). Motivational "spill-over" during weight control: Increased self-determination and exercise intrinsic motivation predict eating selfregulation. Health Psychology 28(6).

25. Palmeira A.L., Teixeira P.J., Markland D., Silva M.N., Branco T., Martins Minderico C.S., Barata J.L., Serpa S., Sardinha L. (2009). Reciprocal mediated effects of changes in weight and psychological factors, in a behavioral weight loss treatment. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 6:9.

26. Silva M.N., Markland D., Minderico C.S., Vieira P.N., Castro M.M., Coutinho S.R., Santos T.C., Matos M.G., Teixeira P.J. (2008). A randomized controlled trial to evaluate self-determination theory for exercise adherence and weight control: Rationale and intervention description. BMC Public Health, 8:234-247.


National Peer-Reviewed Articles

1. Silva M.N., Themudo Barata J.L., Teixeira P.J. (2014). Physical activity in diabetes: an impossible mission or a motivational question? [in Portuguese]. Revista Portuguesa de Cardiologia 2013;32 (Supl.1):35-43.

2. Vieira P.N., Teixeira P.J., Sardinha L.B., Santos T.C., Coutinho S.R., Mata J., Silva M.N. (2014). Weight loss maintenance in Portugal – The Portuguese Weight Control Registry [in Portuguese]. Ciência & Saude Coletiva, 19(1): 83-92.

3. Teixeira, J., Silva M.N. (2013). “I want, I can, and I chose”: Basic psychological needs and motivation in gym users [in Portuguese]. Gymnasium - Revista de Educação Física, Desporto e Saúde, 4(2): 130-151.

4. Vieira P.N., Silva M.N., Coutinho S.R., Santos T.C., Santos, I., Sardinha L.B., Teixeira P.J. (2013). Success in maintaining weight loss in Portugal: The Portuguese Weight Control Registry [in Portuguese]. Revista Portuguesa de Saúde Pública, 30(2):115–124.

5. Sousa S.S., Ribeiro J.L.P., Palmeira A.L., Teixeira P.J., Silva M.N. (2012). Contribution to the study of the basic need satisfaction in general scale to Portuguese language[in Portuguese]. Psicologia, Saúde & Doenças, 13(2):209-219.

6. Silva M.N. (2012). Investigation and action in promotion of active life styles [in Portuguese]. Revista Factores de Risco, 25:28-33.

7. Silva M.N. Actividade Física e sua promoção baseada na evidência, lições à volta do mundo: Um resumo e comentário. Comentário ao artigo “Evidence-based intervention in physical activity: Lessons from around the world”. Lancet, Physical Activity Series (2012). 380: 272-81. Revista Factores de Risco, 28:35-35.

8. Silva M.N., Santos T.C., Coutinho S.R., Marcelino M.S., Vieira P.N., Tomás R.A., Carraça E.V., Minderico C.S., Sardinha L.B. e Teixeira P.J. (2009). PESO COMUNITÁRIO Program [in Portuguese]. Comportamento Alimentar, 6(12): 1-12.

9. Silva M.N., Teixeira P.J., Vieira P.N., Minderico C.S., Castro M.M., Coutinho S., Carraça E. Marcelino M., Santos T., Sardinha L.B. (2007). PESO Program: Promotion of exercise and health in obesity. ENDO-Endocrinologia, Diabetes e Obesidade, 1:5-10.

10. Teixeira P.J., Silva M.N., Vieira P.N., Palmeira A.L., Sardinha L.B. (2006). Physical activity and exercise in the treatment of obesity [in Portuguese]. Endocrinologia, Metabolismo & Nutrição, 15:1-16.

11. Sequeira A., Silva M.N. (2002). Well-being in elderly on rural environment. Análise Psicológica, 3(XX):505-516.



· Certified trainee in Health Behavior Change (Register nº CCPFC/RFO-24239/08)

· Member of the scientific panel of the PhD program in Exercise and Health at Lusófona University

· Co-authorship in several student handbooks (e.g. Health Psychology; Psychopathology

· Ad hoc reviewer for several international peer review journal

· Advisor and co-advisor in several Master Thesis

· Organizing and scientific committee member of national conferences on sport sciences

· Community extension activities (e.g. Organization of communitarian health and weight management programs)



· Young Investigator of the Year 2010 in the Sport Sciences (Technical University of Lisbon - CGD Annual Award)

· Nomination for best poster award (European Congress of Obesity, Lyon, 2012)

· Best presentation award (SPEO - Portuguese Society for the study of obesity, Porto 2006)

· Internship report award (Clinical Psychologist in primary care health services - 2000)